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Whatever happened to Orion?

Written by David Harry   
Tuesday, 02 October 2007 05:01

I am a big junky for anything relating to the ‘relevance’ in the indexing and retrieval game, so I was certainly curious at the time. I was sorting through a bunch of patents in my Google folder and found some info I had collected on Orion. It was like seeing an old friend again…

Anyone remember back in Sept 2005 when Orion appeared on the scene?  Or how it was later obtained by the folks at Google?

What is Orion you may be asking?

Back in 2005; Ori Allon, the developer, said;

Orion© finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so the user can pick the most relevant.

ori_allon.jpg"The results to the query are displayed immediately in the form of expanded text extracts, giving you the relevant information without having to go to the website - although you still have that option if you wish," said Israeli-born Allon, who completed a Bachelor and Masters degree at Monash University in Melbourne before moving to UNSW for his PhD.

"By displaying results to other associated key words directly related to your search topic, you gain additional pertinent information that you might not have originally conceived, thus offering an expert search without having an expert's knowledge.

"Take a search such as the American Revolution as an example of how the system works. Orion© would bring up results with extracts containing this phrase. But it would also give results for American History, George Washington, American Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence, Boston Tea Party and more. You obtain much more valuable information from every search." – Source - New Search Engine

So what were people saying....

Once upon a time even Bill Gates said, "That we need to take the search way beyond how people think of it today. We believe that Orion will do that."  In an interview with Forbes magazine.

There was quite the buzz when Google showed interest and even Danny (Sullivan) got in on that action at the time, but cautioned

“So my reality check alarm is mainly for anyone who thinks Google's going to suddenly change because Allon and this extraction algorithm are now at Google. He gives Google another good employee, and the technology will probably give Google another evolutionary change that may improve things over time, rather than instantly.”

..and Garret French had his own thoughts, on Danny’s thoughts… which were interesting and he also wondered if it meant Good-bye to SNIPPET


So, where is it now?

So what’s the gig with Orion? Where did it go? I haven’t heard much of anything in quite some time and am curious if it was integrated into other relevance methods, a work in progress or simply abandoned ( unlikely)?? It is funny how much hype there is about things in this 'thing of ours' - we're always moving on and yapping about something else.  If this thing is Top Secret... it certainly seems to have stayed that way.


Where are you now Orion…. what has become of you?


More Orion thoughts and resources;

Dave Davies had a great write up back in July of 2006 with – Google Orion, SEO and you
Jennifer LeClair posted – Google Aquires Orion search engine -
Dina Giolitto felt that Orion would cause trouble for Article Marketers


ADDED; I threw a shout out to Bill Slawski who added that all has been quiet on the Orion front and;

"The two Australian patent applications were filed in the name of Google in Australia, but appear now with a "lapsed" status.

Allon, Ori; Martin, Eric  Google Inc.  2005905853  Methods and systems for facilitating ranking of an advertisement 
Allon, Ori; Martin, Eric Google Inc. 2005906358 A method and a system for facilitating ranking of textual information

I haven't heard much new about Ori Allon. I did try to do some searching at the USPTO and at WIPO, but nothing published at either."  ---- ( thanks for the input Bill.... just a curiosity here)


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